Mark Chen

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Chen Tang-shan

Voa chinese Chen Tangshan 01Dec09.jpg
Secretary-General of the ROC Presidential Office
In office
23 March 2008 – 20 May 2008
President Chen Shui-bian
Secretary-General of National Security Council of the Republic of China
In office
6 February 2007 – 27 March 2008
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China
In office
16 April 2004 – 14 January 2006
Magistrate of Tainan County
In office
20 December 1993 – 20 December 2001
Personal details
Born 16 September 1935 (1935-09-16) (age 83)
Tainan Prefecture, Taiwan, Empire of Japan
Nationality Republic of China
Political party Democratic Progressive Party
Alma mater National Taiwan University
University of Oklahoma
Purdue University
Occupation Politician
Profession Geophysicist

Mark Chen or Chen Tang-shan (Chinese: 陳唐山; pinyin: Chén Tángshān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Tông-san), born September 16, 1935, in Tainan Prefecture (now part of Tainan City), Taiwan, is a Taiwanese politician, former Secretary-General of the Office of the President of Taiwan under ex-President Chen Shui-bian. He was also previously Foreign Minister of the ROC from 2004 to 2006 (the first Democratic Progressive Party member to occupy the position). Before returning to Taiwan, he worked for the United States Department of Commerce for 19 years.[1]

Career in Taiwan politics

Chen became part of the Taiwan independence movement while he was completing his post-graduate education in the United States. In 1970, he organized the World United Formosans for Independence. After the establishment of the World Federation of Taiwanese Associations, Chen Tang-shan became its president from 1979 to 1984.

Because of his political views, Chen was put on a blacklist by the Kuomintang government during this time, and was unable to return to Taiwan.[2] He was eventually allowed to return with the advent of Taiwan's democratization. In 1992, Chen joined the Democratic Progressive Party and was elected a member of the Legislative Yuan. In December 1993, he was nominated the candidate of Tainan County Magistrate by the DPP and was elected. He was reelected again in 1997 with 66% of the vote.

In 2001, Chen returned to the Legislative Yuan as a representative of Tainan County. He became the Republic of China's thirty-second Foreign Minister in 2004. After Frank Hsieh resigned his Premiership and a subsequent cabinet shuffle, Chen became the Secretary of the Presidential Office. In 2004, Chen once commented that Singapore is a "booger-size country" that "holding China's ball sacks" with both hands, known as the "LP incident".[3]

In 2012, Chen was again elected to the Legislative Yuan for a four-year term, once again representing Tainan County.

Alleged special fund misuse and acquittal

On September 21, 2007, Chen faced charges of using false receipts to write off expenses from a special governmental account; the alleged misuse involved 368,199 Taiwan dollars (12,454 USD) during his time as foreign minister and presidential secretary general between July 2004 and June 2006. Vice President Annette Lu and DPP chairperson Yu Shyi-kun were also indicted on special fund abuse charges on the same day. Subsequently, in 2012, the Taipei District Court dismissed the case against Chen, finding him not guilty of all charges. Both Lu and Yu were similarly found not guilty. The court ruled that all three officials did not improperly use their special allowances and discretionary state affairs funds.[4][5][6][7]

Personal life

He is a distant relative of Japanese politician Renhō.


  1. ^ biography of Mark Chen on the Legislative Yuan official website
  2. ^ Huang, Tai-lin (22 January 2018). "INTERVIEW: A personal response to the transitional justice act". Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  3. ^ Foreign minister slams Singapore Taipei Times, Sept 28, 2004. Accessed on Nov 30, 2016.
  4. ^ "Lu special allowance fund trial begins", Taipei Times, 20 November 2007
  5. ^ Taiwan's Vice President, two others indicted on corruption, M&G Asia-Pacific News, Sep 21, 2007
  6. ^ "Former officials found not guilty", Taipei Times, 3 July 2012
  7. ^ "Former vice president found not guilty of special fund abuse", Focus Taiwan News Channel, 2 July 2012
Government offices
Preceded by
Lee Ya-chiao
Magistrate of Tainan County
Succeeded by
Su Huan-chih
Preceded by
Eugene Chien
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
James C. F. Huang
Preceded by
Chiou I-jen
Secretary-General of the National Security Council
Succeeded by
Su Chi
Preceded by
Yeh Chu-lan
Secretary-General of the ROC Presidential Office
Succeeded by
Chan Chun-po
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